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Climate Change and Goat Production: Enteric Methane Emission and Its Mitigation
Open AccessArticle

Effect of Encapsulated Nitrate and Microencapsulated Blend of Essential Oils on Growth Performance and Methane Emissions from Beef Steers Fed Backgrounding Diets

1
Lethbridge Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge, AB T1J 4B1, Canada
2
GRASP Ind. & Com. LTDA, Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil 81260-000/EW|Nutrition GmbH, 49429 Visbek, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: Departamento de Nutrición Animal y Bioquímica, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad de Mexico 04510, Mexico.
Animals 2019, 9(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9010021
Received: 3 December 2018 / Revised: 20 December 2018 / Accepted: 1 January 2019 / Published: 10 January 2019
The use of supplemental dietary nitrate (NO3) to minimize enteric methane (CH4) emissions from ruminants is hindered by potential toxicity effects. In the current study, the potential effects of feeding encapsulated NO3 (EN), microencapsulated blend of essential oils (MBEO), and their combination on growth performance and enteric CH4 emissions of beef cattle were evaluated. There was no interaction effect between feeding EN and MBEO on CH4 emissions and the presence of MBEO did not affect the potential of EN to reduce CH4. Feeding MBEO increased CH4 emissions without affecting animal performance. Inclusion of EN as a replacement for urea reduced CH4 emissions without incurring any adverse effects on cattle health and performance.
A long-term study (112 days) was conducted to examine the effect of feeding encapsulated nitrate (NO3), microencapsulated blend of essential oils (EO), and their combination on growth performance, feeding behavior, and enteric methane (CH4) emissions of beef cattle. A total of 88 crossbred steers were purchased and assigned to one of four treatments: (i) control, backgrounding high-forage diet supplemented with urea (1.17% in dietary DM); (ii) encapsulated NO3 (EN), control diet supplemented with 2.5% encapsulated NO3 as a replacement for urea (1.785% NO3 in the dietary DM); (iii) microencapsulated blend of EO (MBEO), control diet supplemented with 150 mg/kg DM of microencapsulated blend of EO and pepper extract; and (iv) EN + MBEO, control diet supplemented with EN and MBEO. There was no interaction (p ≥ 0.080) between EN and MBEO on average dry matter intake (DMI), average daily gain (ADG), gain to feed ratio (G:F), feeding behavior, and CH4 emission (using GreenFeed system), implying independent effects of feeding EN and MBEO. Feeding MBEO increased CH4 production (165.0 versus 183.2 g/day; p = 0.005) and yield (18.9 versus 21.4 g/kg DMI; p = 0.0002) but had no effect (p ≥ 0.479) on average DMI, ADG, G:F, and feeding behavior. However, feeding EN had no effect on ADG and G:F (p ≥ 0.119) but reduced DMI (8.9 versus 8.4 kg/day; p = 0.003) and CH4 yield (21.5 versus 18.7 g/kg DMI; p < 0.001). Feeding EN slowed (p = 0.001) the feeding rate (g of DM/min) and increased (p = 0.002) meal frequency (events/day). Our results demonstrate that supplementing diets with a blend of EO did not lower CH4 emissions and there were no advantages of feeding MBEO with EN. Inclusion of EN as a replacement for urea reduced CH4 emissions but had no positive impact on animal performance. View Full-Text
Keywords: backgrounded cattle; encapsulated nitrate; essential oil; methane backgrounded cattle; encapsulated nitrate; essential oil; methane
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Alemu, A.W.; Romero-Pérez, A.; Araujo, R.C.; Beauchemin, K.A. Effect of Encapsulated Nitrate and Microencapsulated Blend of Essential Oils on Growth Performance and Methane Emissions from Beef Steers Fed Backgrounding Diets. Animals 2019, 9, 21.

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